“When I was young, I used to admire intelligent people; as I grow older, I admire kind people.” –Abraham Joshua Heschel
I met my best friend Danielle in the 4th grade. We were both the shy, nerdy kids in class, and quickly bonded over our mutual awkwardness. Many of my favorite childhood memories include Danielle. Bumbling through dance classes. Summer vacations spent climbing sand dunes and lounging on the beach. The weekend nights we dressed up as the Spice Girls or Gwen Stefani and rocked out to “Wannabe” and “I’m Just A Girl.”
My high school and college years saw many friends come and go but Danielle and I have always remained close. She’s seen me through heartbreak, cross country moves, quarter life crises, graduate school drop outs, marriage, and the birth of my son. She has been my shoulder to cry on when life got hard and the first person to congratulate me when I found success. She has been one of the more permanent, steadfast fixtures in my life, and for that I am very grateful.
Last January she welcomed her son into the world, and like all new parents, her priorities shifted. The time she used to spend focusing on herself became time she spent caring for her son. Date nights turned into family story and bath time. Late night movie marathon became late night feeding and diaper changing sessions. And meals out were traded in for plastic coated spoons of pureed carrots.
She is a great mother, and I know she wouldn’t trade parenthood in for anything, but as her friend it’s nice to be able to give her a couple hours of self-indulgence.
When I decided to gift her with movie tickets and babysitting I knew I wanted it to be a surprise. I contacted her husband who helped me coordinate a day and time to come over. He tricked her into thinking they were going out to run errands so she was all ready when I arrived. When I showed up and told her why I was really there she was pleasantly surprised. Afternoon movies always win out over running errands!
And as a bonus I got to hang out with this little guy for a few hours. I think we both came out ahead.